Austrian Airlines will definitely link Vienna to Los Angeles from April 2017.
Last month Business Traveller revealed that Austrian Airlines was evaluating a route to the US West Coast in 2017.
And this morning we can reveal that the non-stop service will launch on April 10.
Austrian Airlines (a Lufthansa Group member) will provide the first ever non-stop service between Central Europe and the US West Coast.
Flights will be operated by one of Austrian Airlines’ B777-200s. It will be a five times a week service (daily except Tuesday and Sunday) from April 10 to June 12. From June 13 the service will be upgraded to a daily frequency.
Although Austrian Airlines has yet to officially announce the new route, details are now displayed on travel agents GDSs and on the carrier’s website.
Flight timings will be:
OS081 Vienna-Los Angeles 10.00-1330
OS082 Los Angeles-Vienna 15.05-12.00 (following day arrival)
The flight duration will be 12hrs and 30 mins to Los Angeles with the return service to Vienna taking 11hrs 55 mins.
Why is this route so news worthy ?
It is because Central Europe will now have a non-stop link to the US West Coast. Previously travellers have had to change planes either at another Europe hub or within the mainland USA.
Key to the new route’s success will be Austrian Airlines’ ability to attract enough transfer passengers.
In this regard it is helped by its comprehensive network coverage of both main and secondary destinations in the former Eastern Europe.
So the Los Angeles flights are geared to the needs of transfer passengers. And Vienna boasts some of Europe’s shortest MCTs (minimum connecting times) which can be just 25 mins when passengers take Star Alliance flights.
It means a traveller could leave Krakow in South Poland at 07.35 to arrive into Vienna at 08.40 in good time for the Los Angeles flight departing at 10.00.
In the return direction, the Los Angeles flight arrives back into Vienna at 12.00 which allows a one hour before the Krakow connection departs at 13.00 to give an arrival home at 14.00.
There are many other examples of good connections including Bucharest, Budapest * and Sofia. (* Budapest currently entails a four hour transfer on the return. But the connection may change)
And, of course, Bratislava the capital of Slovakia is almost as close to Vienna as Stansted is to Central London.
So Austrian Airlines’ service will be good news for passengers wishing to travel between Central Europe, the US West Coast and vice-versa.